Arbor Day in Virginia

Celebrating Arbor Day in Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes Arbor Day annually on the last Friday in April.

Arbor Day (from the Latin “arbor”, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. The idea for Arbor Day originally came from J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska as he and fellow pioneers traveled the tree-less plains in the 1800s.

Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, some cities and towns within the Commonwealth choose to celebrate on a variety of dates depending on climate and suitable planting season. Many Arbor Day celebrations in Virginia are held in the fall – between September and early December – to take advantage of the warm soil temperatures and impending dormancy season.

Community Arbor Day Events

The ultimate goal is to celebrate and learn about trees – your community can participate in a number of ways to demonstrate appreciation for trees.

  • Plant a tree in a prominent location or an area in need of more greenspace.
  • Offer demonstrations on tree identification, selection, planting, or pruning. Contact a local certified arborist or local VDOF forester for assistance.
  • Host a celebration to honor good stewards of nature in your community or to acknowledge greenspace improvement projects.
  • Work with local garden clubs or civic organizations to coordinate tree plantings in memoriam of individuals who passed away the previous year.

Virtual Arbor Day Celebrations

Virtual and at-a-distance celebrations of Arbor Day can be great substitutions when in-person community events aren’t possible. Here are some ways you can celebrate Arbor Day virtually:

  • Live broadcast a tree planting – explain tree selection and planting practices.
  • Share videos of tree care demonstration or tree identification.
  • Organize tree giveaways for at-home plantings. Watch VDOF’s Arbor Day 2020 video for more ideas pertaining to virtual celebrations.


Additional Resources

Learn more about Arbor Day on the National Arbor Day Foundation’s website.

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Community Tree Planting During COVID-19
Community Tree Planting During COVID-19FT0054

Forestry topic information sheet provides information about safely holding community tree planting events during the COVID-19 pandemic, including guidance for planning, supplies, and more.

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